Dr. AIX

Mark Waldrep, aka Dr. AIX, has been producing and engineering music for over 40 years. He learned electronics as a teenager from his HAM radio father while learning to play the guitar. Mark received the first doctorate in music composition from UCLA in 1986 for a "binaural" electronic music composition. Other advanced degrees include an MS in computer science, an MFA/MA in music, BM in music and a BA in art. As an engineer and producer, Mark has worked on projects for the Rolling Stones, 311, Tool, KISS, Blink 182, Blues Traveler, Britney Spears, the San Francisco Symphony, The Dover Quartet, Willie Nelson, Paul Williams, The Allman Brothers, Bad Company and many more. Dr. Waldrep has been an innovator when it comes to multimedia and music. He created the first enhanced CDs in the 90s, the first DVD-Videos released in the U.S., the first web-connected DVD, the first DVD-Audio title, the first music Blu-ray disc and the first 3D Music Album. Additionally, he launched the first High Definition Music Download site in 2007 called iTrax.com. A frequency speaker at audio events, author of numerous articles, Dr. Waldrep is currently writing a book on the production and reproduction of high-end music called, "High-End Audio: A Practical Guide to Production and Playback". The book should be completed in the fall of 2013.

9 thoughts on “Crossing the HiFi Portable Bridge

  • July 27, 2014 at 3:54 pm
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    I have the HTC One M8 from Verizon (so it isn’t the Harman Kardon version) and I use the Neutron player from the Play store.

    While I haven’t listened to music on your version of the phone, I definitely feel fatigue if I listen to it for an hour or more (this happens regardless of the player used) and this doesn’t happen when I use my AK120. Just from that fact alone, the AK120 is clearly better IMO.

    BTW, it took me a full read of the post to figure out what you meant by “A&S”…you mean Astell & Kern, right? I believe it is abbreviated A&K or AK, like they do with their model numbers.

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    • July 28, 2014 at 1:50 pm
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      I’ll go back and change the A&K to Astell & Kern, the name of the company. The converters are indeed different and the audio handling unique in the Harman Kardon Edition. I just returned from the east coast and experienced great sound through my in-ear monitors the whole way. I wouldn’t recommend spending the extra money for the much more expensive units.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 2:10 am
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    Coming from the viewpoint of someone (now on holiday) using Note 3 to Fiio X3 to Ray Samuels SR71-A to Sennheiser HD-25 1 II I can tell you that there’s big big difference between the audio quality coming straight out of the ‘phone socket and the Ray Samuels. The difference in quality is not just because of the external DAC, it’s because the Sennheiser are being driven properly by the external amp. The not Note 3 does not have the ‘grunt’ (voltage swing and current) to drive the Senns and the output from the Note sounds anemic. The output from the Note, Fiio, Ray Samuels combo easily rivals my home system and it really is fantastic to have this sort of sound quality availabe whilst away on holiday.

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    • July 28, 2014 at 1:52 pm
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      I did a little looking online about the Ray Samuels SR71-A unit. It’s true that we need really good designs and power to handle the headphones for quality sound. I’ll have to get try your setup…but for now, I have no problem with the simple and great sounding HTC phone.

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  • July 28, 2014 at 2:58 pm
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    Mark, I think it’s great you’re building relationships on the portable side: as I’ve advocated previously and I think you already understand, I think there is tremendous enthusiasm and wallets in that space that align with your high quality music efforts. If you could find a way to kickstart or buddy with a portable product that was bundled with your recordings, or recordings by others that you curate as truly high quality, you could perhaps persuade a significant change in these enthusiasts’ budgets for hardware vs music…

    ..and I’m pretty sure you already thought of it, but what if you also considered an IOS and/or Android plug-in to an existing player or a new player that could read and respond to special tag fields to equalize correctly to play back a song appropriately for different situations like on the road (high bkgnd noise) vs at home (low bkgnd noise), for example. That could pull people away from dealing with different song codecs for different needs and instead just have one song codec with situation-specific equalization/convolution profiles, with you as their curator and music provider. I”m rather incoherent on all this, but hopefully you get some of what I’m (poorly) trying to communicate.

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    • July 29, 2014 at 10:45 am
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      I like the idea and in fact, have been actively promoting the idea to some engineers. We’ll see how it goes with the labels.

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  • July 29, 2014 at 6:37 am
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    If you’re happy with the sound of the HTC and iems that’s all that matters. The setup I’ve taken on holiday, whilst not truly portable, was transportable and for the first time ever I was able to enjoy my audio and video files on holiday as if I were using my home setup.

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    • July 29, 2014 at 10:50 am
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      I’m not saying that there can’t be improvements…but I think the HTC does an incredible job for a one stop solution.

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      • July 30, 2014 at 11:41 am
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        So many systems can be controlled by a phone or tablet these days. In many ways, this is fine. But…when do they stop staring at the widget and just listen? Not often enough, and the reason is simple; phones and tablets are in many ways simply TV’s which make calls and connect to the internet. The bright colorful graphics and seemingly sharp images can and do pre-occupy folks when they should just be listening instead if they want the biggest rewards. The single song thing too was banished in the ’60s by Beatles/Stones/Dylan, and has returned with a vengeance. The phone thing also eliminates any frequent tactile relationship with your gear. The whole high-tech thing adds up to some plusses, and some minuses too.

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